Fall 2013 Library Newsletter
Online Blog for Cookbook Recipe Critiquers
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Faxing Now Available
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Notary Services Available
Port Jervis' 1903 Carnegie Library
After 111 Years, We Are Still Going Strong!
DID YOU KNOW...
Between 1893 and 1919—a three-decade run that librarians refer to as the Golden Age of the American public library system—Carnegie paid to build 1,689 libraries in the U.S. These seeded the DNA for nearly every American library built before the end of World War II. That may explain in part why there is no central accounting for Carnegie's libraries, which were built without any oversight from a formal program or foundation: Even libraries that aren't historical Carnegie libraries share their aesthetic philosophy.
"As far as I'm aware, the last person to conduct an inventory of Carnegie libraries was Theodore Jones, back in 1997," says Ron Sexton, librarian for the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Almost 20 years later, Jones's book, Carnegie Libraries Across America: A Public Legacy, still offers the best estimate to a question that may not have an exact answer.
According to the figures assembled by Jones (adjusted here for inflation), Carnegie spent as much as $1.3 billion on public libraries in the U.S.—a gift unmatched before or since. Some 70 percent of these buildings were built in small towns. The grants sparked the national enthusiasm for libraries at the turn of the century, with the majority going to cities that now occupy the Rust Belt region (in addition to always-fashionable California).
"It was an expectation in communities across the country—if you didn’t have a library, somehow you were not supporting culture," says Wayne Wiegand, professor emeritus of library studies at Florida State University and author of a forthcoming history of public libraries, tentatively titled Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library. "Without Carnegie, we’d still have public libraries, but they’d be different and probably fewer in number."
Close to 800 of Carnegie's library buildings are still in use as public libraries, according to Carnegie Libraries Across America, while another 350 have been given new purposes as office buildings and cultural centers. More than 275 have been razed or destroyed—some inadvertently, as in the case of botched renovations performed as Works Progress Administration projects.
"These are buildings that really revolutionized the American public library experience," Van Slyck says. "Carnegie put his money behind a revolutionary approach to what kind of services librarians offered."
Both widely felt and largely invisible, the legacy of the Carnegie library system may not be measured best by architecture or even information studies, but by the buildings' enormous impact on civic life, especially for women and children.
For more information on the Port Jervis Free Library, click here.
October 19-25 is National Friends of Libraries Week
Cruise through your driver's permit test!
In Partnership with Ramapo Catskill Library System
Attention Port Jervis Free Library cardholders
Effective February 26, 2014
The Thrall Public Library District of Middletown and Wallkill has instituted a restriction for ALL Port Jervis Free Library cardholders when borrowing items from their library. The following resolution will become effective immediately:
Restrict the patrons of Port Jervis Free Library from borrowing any of Thrall Public Library District of Middletown and Wallkill's audiovisual or print materials that are less than one year old.
Please note that these restrictions do not apply when borrowing materials from your home library, the Port Jervis Free Library, located at 138 Pike Street, Port Jervis, NY.
As always, thank you for your continued patronage!
Beverly Arlequeeuw, Director
Get Your New York City Public Library Card
Most people in Orange County may not be aware that anyone who lives, works or goes to school anywhere in New York (yes, anywhere in the state) can get a New York City public library card and download ebooks and audio books from the New York City library system without ever having to step foot in New York City.
Simply go to www.nypl.org, click on "Using the Library," and then click on "Get a Library Card." Provide the requested information and within weeks you will be sent your New York City library card. You can then go on the New York Public Library web site and download ebooks and audio books just like you do in our own Ramapo Catskill Library System. Now you have both library systems at your fingertips!
ATTENTION All Local Artists
Are you an artist and wish you had a place to display your artwork? The Port Jervis Free Library Art Gallery in our new Community Room might be that place to showcase your work. Contact the Library at 845-856-7313 if you are interested in displaying your work. The exhibits will change every 4-6 weeks. Please note: The sale of the art works at the library is to be handled by the artist and the buyer. The library will not be involved in the sale of art works.